Okay, so you’ve caught freshers’ flu and all of the fun along with the studying towards your brighter future has come to an end. Now what? Freshers’ flu is the name given to a whole myriad of symptoms that are keeping you down all at once? Don’t know what myriad means? Well, that’s why you have to deal with your freshers’ flu so that you can get back on your feet and learn.
Freshers’ flu isn’t actually a form of flu at all, but it can definitely feel like one with its cocktail of both physical and mental ailments all impacting on your immune system.
The symptoms (in case you’re not already painfully aware) include a high temperature that will leave you both boiling hot in need of an ice bath, and also freezing cold and wanting to keep under your warm duvet. Other physical symptoms include pounding headaches, sneezing, dry coughs and serious tiredness. The lassitude the drained thoughts and low mood weighing you down psychologically can also leave you feeling depressed, paranoid and seriously lacking the motivation to get yourself better. This means socialising and studying are a big fat no. The symptoms are akin to the common cold and will pass soon enough, but leaving things to chance won’t help you get better and while you’re there in bed, shivering and sweating at the same time with your flat mate’s bass throbbing in your skull, you have the time to do a little MOT and do what you can to get over it.
Drinking plenty of clear fluids will not only hydrate you but they will flush the toxins out of your system. Staying hydrated will address your headaches, sinuses, and cough and replenish any of the fluids lost from boozing, which may well have led to this chink in your immune system in the first place. Don’t just stop at the water, though. Knock-off the caffeine as much as you can; it will maybe wake you up a little bit, but is also a diuretic. Drink sports and energy drinks, non-concentrated fruit juice and eat hydrating fruits such as cucumbers.
You need your strength and even if you’re on some form of diet you still need to eat the essential macros that count. This means protein, carbs, and fats. Protein is your body’s building blocks so get it where you can. If you’re on a student budget, tinned tuna and oily fish is your friend. Carbs don’t mean empty fuel like pizza, white bread, and pasta; it means oats, seeds, non-refined foods, brown bread, sweet potatoes, and quinoa, to name just a few. Fats are not all bad, and your body needs them for energy. As with carbs, stick to the non-refined and non-processed foods and avoid junk food and takeaways no matter how much one might appeal.
Get Your Vitamins
Vitamin B, C, and D are your cure so get them from fruits, sunlight, and supplements. The likes of Daily Vitamins is a good starting point, ensuring that you get all the vitamins you need in one go.
Get Your Rest
Your growth hormones and cycles run while you’re sleeping. Proper rest for both the mind and body are the time when your body heals and grows, so no matter how dull it may seem to get a nap or two in during the day, the sooner you get your head down, the sooner the symptoms will start to ease up.
Don’t Make it Worse
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, by trying to fight the symptoms and grogginess you’ll only exhaust yourself. As well as getting your fuel, water, and rest, paracetamol will take the edge off some of your symptoms. Sadly, resting properly means that the fun’s over for a bit – and you don’t want to pass on your germs by inviting people around anyway. Lay off the drink, stay out of the bars and don’t smoke as these will do nothing for your healing immune system. Hot drinks laced with lemon and honey can replace caffeine and soothe your inflamed throat. Ginger will settle your stomach. Plenty of garlic will not only keep people away but also serves as a natural antioxidant and antiseptic for your suffering system.
A couple of other ideas are to take this opportunity to look at how hygienic your living quarters are and perhaps run an antibacterial cloth over those gammy surfaces. And if you absolutely feel like you must get some form of exercise, try something low impact that doesn’t get your heart rate up or trouble your symptoms that also relaxes you – ie. yoga.